Essay: Life by Bicycle

At four a.m., our cat lays a starling down in the hallway. The bird’s complaint sounds like green branches snapping. Its eye contains night sky. To soothe it, I bend my words into a gentling music. I make my voice like cool water on sun-warm stone. My husband reveals his bicycle accidents carefully: “I laid my bike down yesterday. Let’s go easy.” Four years we’ve lived without a car; we speak with new fragility. We’ve come to accept the gravity of traveling without walls of steel and glass. Our bodies are part sky, part bird. We move through air alone.


H.K. Hummel lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Her chapbook, Handmade Boats was published by Whale Sound in 2010. She teaches at Belmont University and edits the literary journal, Blood Orange Review.

Photo credit: Kate Farnady


4 Responses to “Essay: Life by Bicycle”

  1. taidgh says:

    Hi H.K. I really enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing!

  2. jeffswitt says:

    I hate bicycles, but loved the story – the feeling there in. Perfect, Jeff

  3. Amy Han says:

    This is stunning. Makes me want to live by bicycle as well!

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